All I can say is: thank goodness for these amazing authors/teachers and their amazing ideas.
During my fall semester, my literacy course mandated that I read the book entitled The Book Whisperer by Donalyn Miller. I am so grateful that I was introduced to this book because it honestly changed me as a reader and as a teacher. I do love to read. I really do. However, I often felt like I did not have enough time to read. My semesters were always very busy and I would put reading for fun on the back-burner. Only when I had long breaks I would read many, many books. The Book Whisperer taught me that I can have enough time to read as long as I want to make time for myself to read. Eventually, you just can't stop reading! It truly turned me into an even more avid reader and taught me that I must be and present myself as an avid reader if I want my students to do the same.
After I finished The Book Whisperer, I was very eager to read Donalyn's next book: Reading in the Wild. Reading in the Wild was yet another amazing piece of work and specifically something called "The Book a Day Challenge" caught my interest. Donalyn wrote that she challenges readers to continue reading in the summer and read a book a day. It may seem a little scary and overwhelming but the rules are very flexible and you basically turn it into whatever you would like it to be, as long as you are reading. I decided I would give #bookaday a try. There were so many books on my bookshelf that I wanted to read for pleasure and for professional development. However, I also thought that as an elementary school teacher I needed to be very familiar with children's books and picture books. My students are going to be reading these books and I will be using these books as mentor texts so I knew that I needed to read and actually study them. Sadly, I admit, before #bookaday, I was not very familiar with many picture books. Sure, I may have read them as a child, but now I needed to read these books with a different lens: how can I teach from these books? What kinds of lessons can I pull out from these books?
I still have about a month left of summer and I began the #bookaday challenge right after graduation which was in May. Today is August 5th and for me, it is the 76th day of the challenge. That means that by the end of summer, I will have read about 100 books! Oh my goodness! Sure, many of these were short children's books, but I did not stop just after reading them. I read them and tried to find lessons that I could teach from them. My books have post-its that have several ideas for lessons and I even did some research about what other teachers have used these books for.
I would like to say "thank you" to Donalyn Miller for inspiring me to not only read more, but to also better prepare myself for this upcoming school year.
If you would like to see the books that I have read so far this summer, feel free to click on the link below. Also, please make comments with book suggestions for me!